Here is the conversation my 8 year old and 5 year old had in the car the other day.
5 year old: Why are there red ribbons on everyone’s mailbox?
8 year old: They are there to support the family on the girl that died in the car crash.
Whoa. This was not the conversation I was expecting (nor prepared for) on the car ride.
A few weeks ago, four UGA students lost their lives in a tragic car accident. It’s the kind of thing that makes you wonder about the goodness of God and where God is in moments like this. One of the students, Halle Scott, was from Dunwoody and went to Dunwoody High School which is right down the street from us. In support of her family, many in the community have tied red ribbons around their mailboxes. Red, because it is one of the school colors of both DHS and UGA.
5 year old: Why did the girl die in the car crash? Am i going to die in a car crash?
8 year old: I don’t know. Daddy, why did God allow the girl to die in the car crash?
It’s at this point that I am desperate to turn up the radio as loud as possible. Please, where is Taylor Swift blaring “Shake it Off” when you need her?
I earn a living walking people through difficult questions such as these. I don’t always know what to say. I mostly sit, listen, and wonder with folks while reminding them that God’s will is always for life and that in difficult times God’s heart is the first to break.
For some reason with children, especially my own children, the ones who think I know all the answers, its different. Kids are usually more honest that adults and their questions are more raw. They also keep asking questions.
5 year old: God allows people to die in car crashes?
8 year old: That’s what I just asked Daddy? He hasn’t answered!
Pressure. We have taught our kids since day one that God is a God of love, that God is a good God who wants the best of all of us. We have taught them that in God’s eyes, all people are equal and beloved. We have taught them that God is with them, no matter what. For whatever reason, in this moment, nothing is coming out of my mouth.The evidence might seem to present something different. How do I deal with this? Where is Taylor Swift when you need her most?
5 year old: God loves those girls. God wouldn’t allow them to have a car crash
8 year old: God probably cried first and is the most sad out of anyone
5 year old: I bet God tied a red ribbon around his mailbox
8 year old: God will help their families feel better
Out of the mouth of babes. Jesus just may have been on to something when he told us that to truly understand who God is, we need to be more like children. For me, I feel blessed by the reminder.
Grace and peace